With so many sporting events going on around the state this weekend, I, of course, picked the wrong one to attend. As a proud Maryland alum, I chose to head down to College Park for, what I thought would be, a good football game between Temple and Maryland. Instead, I watched my beloved Terps get drubbed by a surprisingly good Temple team. I should have stayed closer to home and headed up to Shawan Downs in Hunt Valley for the 11th annual Legacy Chase.
With the recent poor weather playing a factor, organizers were forecasting a crowd of about 5,000 people for the race. Instead, the bad weather held off and an estimated 8,000 people showed up for a day of fun, low-key horse racing. The only cost was a $30 parking fee that went directly to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson.
When I read that spectators were setting up fancy picnics or walking about the grounds sampling the delicious foods available for sale, I immediately regretted not going. From the look of things, everyone really enjoyed themselves and fun was had by all. Think of it as Preakness with less people and better scenery. Taking those factors into consideration, the Legacy Chase definitely gives off a more laid back vibe. They even have a best tailgate competition amongst the spectators!
It’s really a day made for horse enthusiasts. The event consisted of three steeplechase races with a purse of over $75,000. The feature race was won by Haddix, who has made his way around the steeplechase circuit this season. The 9-year-old gelding shares bloodlines with former Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
So after hearing about all the fun that was had at Shawan Downs, you better believe that I’ll be circling the 2012 date on my calendar. I might just try to win that tailgating competition, and if I do, I’ll make sure you all hear about it!